Commentary

Big Market Delusion: Electric Vehicles

The “big market delusion” is when all firms in an evolving industry rise together, although as competitors ultimately some will win and some will lose.

Commentary

As Duration Dies, Equities Rise

We compare the current value of bonds versus stocks within the context of the equity risk premium. We couple this analysis with an evaluation of possible Fed policy direction. Our conclusion is that risk assets, such as US equities and corporate bonds, are poised to benefit as are gold and other commodities due to tumbling real yields and dollar weakening.

Commentary

How COVID-19 Vaccines and Brexit Create the Trade of the 2020s

In late 2020, a new kid emerged on the bargain-of-the-decade block. UK stocks, and notably UK value, reached very cheap levels relative to value stocks in other developed economies. Today, UK value remains at remarkably low valuations relative to most of its fundamentals.

Commentary

Reports of Value's Death May Be Greatly Exaggerated

Rob Arnott: “There hasn’t been a better time to be a value investor at any other time in my career. I look back at the tech bubble and I never thought I would see valuations stretched the way they were then. We're back to that, and then some." We invite you to revisit “Reports of Value’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated” now published in the Financial Analysts Journal.

Commentary

Surprise! Factor Betas Don’t Deliver Factor Alphas

By buying or overweighting characteristics-based factor exposure and selling or underweighting beta-based factor exposure, investors can position their portfolios to reap the rewards of factor investing while bearing less risk.

Commentary

Beware the Shocks in the Road

Massive growth in central bank balance sheets via quantitative easing, debt monetization, and firing of “big bazooka” stimulus packages brings renewed focus to potential shocks in the business cycle. An awareness of the macroeconomic “shocks” and their impact on asset prices should be incorporated in investors’ tactical asset-allocation decisions.

Commentary

Is Diversification Dead?

Over the last dozen years, investors holding the classic US 60/40 portfolio were substantially better off than their diversified peers, yet now is not the time to abandon diversification and diversifying asset classes. We believe it is imprudent to trust that escalation in valuations will continue unabated into the next decade...

Commentary

Bitcoin: Magic Internet Money

The sage advice to “know what you are investing in” is being dangerously overlooked by both novice and seasoned investors when it comes to bitcoin. A former bitcoin miner explains why the price of BTC is nearly certainly a bubble and likely manipulated. Investors should proceed with extreme caution.

Commentary

Tesla, the Largest-Cap Stock Ever to Enter S&P 500: A Buy Signal or a Bubble?

On December 21, Tesla will be the largest company ever to enter the S&P 500 Index. Tesla’s skyhigh valuation, which meets our real-time definition of a bubble, conforms to the observation that market-cap-weighted indices buy high and sell low—the antithesis of prudent investing.

Commentary

Book Value Is an Incomplete Measure of Firm Size

Adding intangible assets to book value provides a more robust measure of firm capital. But, just as a home buyer considers a host of variables when evaluating the price of a new house, we prefer to use multiple metrics, not book value alone, to get the most complete picture possible of a firm’s valuation.

Commentary

The Risks to a Robust Recovery

Cam Harvey outlines seven risks that have the potential to derail the economic path forward. He believes in the possibility of a robust recovery, but prudence dictates going through the exercise of listing the risks to the recovery and assessing their economic and financial implications.

Commentary

Is ESG a Factor?

Applying the definition of factor robustness that was established by our Research Affiliates colleagues in a 2016 award-winning paper, we determine ESG is not a factor. Nevertheless, the importance of ESG as an investing strategy is undeniable. We explore how greater clarity around defining ESG can quicken the pace of ESG integration in equity portfolios.

Commentary

A Quick Survey of "Broken" Asset Classes

Pundits, prognosticators, and even investment boards often make misleading declarations that an asset class is broken, that its prospects for earning investors a reasonable future return are very dim. These proclamations can lead to investors’ abandoning these assets to chase recent winners.

Commentary

The COVID-19 Crash and the Abandonment of the Pensioner

Between mid-February and late March 2020, we saw a “take no prisoners” market crash. Anything with a whiff of perceived risk crashed, in direct proportion to its perceived risk. The only assets that soared—because of tumbling interest rates—were long Treasury bonds, and with them, the net present value of pension obligations.

Commentary

Reports of Value's Death May Be Greatly Exaggerated

The Fama–French value factor, and value investing in general, has suffered an extraordinarily long 13.3 years of underperformance relative to the growth investing style. The current drawdown has been by far the longest as well as the largest since July 1963. Arnott, Harvey, Kalesnik, and Linnainmaa examine the potential causes of value’s underperformance and provide estimates of value’s performance relative to growth’s performance under different revaluation scenarios over the next decade.